New York State has been on the receiving end of approximately $33.5 billion thanks to the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the “stimulus.” Approximately $5 billion in stimulus funds were directed to projects and programs with environmental benefits. This is a significant investment. However, New York State has not always been a trustworthy steward when it comes to taxpayer dollars. In previous investigations, Environmental Advocates of New York has uncovered millions of dollars of spending or tax credits that work against New York’s green goals.
In order to learn how greenly stimulus dollars were spent in New York State, Environmental Advocates examined major areas of stimulus spending. And while much-maligned by pundits and politicians alike, and despite differences among agencies regarding the final dollar amounts, we discovered that stimulus dollars have been put to good use in New York—and are already helping to keep our water clean and safe, reduce our dependence on polluting fossil fuels, and provide public transportation options that will keep cars and trucks off the road.